Auto-Response Psychology

Following its continued significant impact on our clients, Powerchange has pioneered the development of the powerful field of AR Psychology.

The word ‘auto’ simply means something happening by itself, on its own, automatically, like a computer in a dark windowless room. An Auto-Response is one that you make yourself, most of the time quite without being aware that you’ve made it, deep inside your thinking processes.

‘NOW I Understand!’

We love the ‘NOW I understand’ feeling. The truth is, people love to learn new things. We are addicted to it. It seems we are born with a discovery obsession. We are compulsively curious, making endless connections and creating ‘connection patterns’ in order to make sense of our world. It seems we believe ‘Everything means something’, and in the absence of clarity or any ‘obvious’ meaning the human mind tends to create its own. We literally “make it up”, filling in the gaps as best we can from our past experience.

Once a person has put two-and-two together and come to an understanding of each ‘fact’ or ‘truth’ it gets built into the fabric of our thinking and added to the layers of our life. It becomes embedded into our neurology.

The trouble is, we don’t always get it right. Sometimes those creative attempts are unintentionally wrong. We miss the point, grow up, move on, or the world changes, and our Auto-Response System doesn’t.

As we get more skilled at putting those bits of information together in ways that are useful to us, creating more perceptions of how the world around us ‘is’ and what it means for us, we come to put our trust in our ability to make judgements. We go on to assume that the judgements and conclusions we have come to ARE RIGHT, and they sink quietly down from our daily consciousness into the foundations of our thinking and reasoning. They have become FACT to us. TRUTH. The way things ARE. ‘Proven’. Safe to build on. Our brains tell us we no longer need to question these pieces of information, because it is ‘obvious’ they are true, so we build the next layer of ‘knowledge bricks’ upon the sure foundation of the last layer.

Most of the major decisions we have built our lives on have been made before we were ten. Most of the decisions we make in the subsequent years, right up to the present time, are built on these ‘beliefs’.

Auto-Response Psychology is the study of these decisions: how we make them, how they affect daily life, what we can learn from them and how we can change them when we find they’re not working the way that we want them to work.

You can change it when you know how

The purpose of your Auto-Response System is to keep you safe and make your life easier by automating your behaviour.

In the same way that your Auto Immune System is constantly monitoring and automating physical inputs into your body and creating reactions to anything that it perceives to me harmful, your Auto Response System monitors your everyday world, working out how you should respond. Most of the time it works brilliantly. Sometimes, just like your immune system, it doesn’t. That’s what’s behind things like road-rage and phobias: your Auto-Response System has just gone into overdrive, if you’ll excuse the pun.

Your Auto Responses will be driven by what you have in your current ‘Existing Knowledge’ base – regardless of how accurate it is.

Two Minds

Your brain works at two levels at once, consciously and automatically.  These two levels we call the Conscious Response (CR) and the Auto-Response (AR).

Your Conscious Response System is logical and reasoning:  

  • I need to fix that window before the winter.
  • That is only a toy.  
  • Spiders don’t hurt people in the UK, they just look ugly.
  • I need to remember this information for the exam.

Your Auto Response System is working away processing everything you’re thinking that you don’t know that you’re thinking right now:

  • Am I comfortable, happy and safe?
  • Am I confident or apprehensive?  
  • I need the loo!
  • I’m hungry!   

Your AR System is constantly monitoring your present state, and your environment and communicates with the Conscious Response System when it deems necessary. It operates thousands of times faster than the CRS but is much less refined.

Your AR System helps you learn and act on that learning efficiently. It is constantly assessing, checking, filtering, comparing and organising the mega-quantities of information you are processing every minute.

Psychologists believe that the Number One task of your Auto-Response System is to keep you safe and alive. It also has a Number Two task: to do whatever else it has been programmed to do.

We now know you can be in control of that programming.  Find out more.